Influence of institute governance on international research collaboration: towards a typological theory

Inga Ulnicane-Ozolina

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

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While for centuries scientific activities have spanned national borders, research has been organised largely nationally and locally with diverse missions, reward systems, hierarchies and funding structures. Diversity of research governance facilitating development of a wide variety of competences and approaches can ensure opportunities for highly creative international collaborations but it can also increase costs of collaboration due to the need to reconcile diverse institutional and organisational arrangements. Both international collaboration and research governance are undergoing important transformations. While international research collaboration is increasing, governance of research funding, careers and evaluation is considerably changing. It has been suggested that, due to changes in research governance, freedom to choose collaborators and topics and to undertake long-term and risky research has been restrained. In this context, the Thesis undertakes multiple longitudinal in-depth case studies to obtain evidence of institute governance and other factors influencing the emergence, evolution and results of international collaborations at “grass-root” level. Multiple data sources and research methods are used to build a typological theory from seven case studies. Publication, citation, organisational and CV data together with 61 interviews with researchers in 31 leading nano S&T institutes in Germany, the Netherlands, France, Belgium and the United Kingdom are analysed. The findings reveal that institute governance characteristics, such as autonomy, rich communicative and collaborative environment, open organisational culture, support for international mobility and recruitment and availability of diverse funding sources, facilitate productive and creative international collaborations, supporting initiatives of researchers and self-organisation processes of the scientific community. The Thesis develops a typological theory of the influence of institute governance on international research collaboration in nano S&T in Europe, specifying how three ideal types of institute governance with diverse missions, reward systems, collaborative and communicative environment, mobility and funding structures - ‘exploratory’, ‘industrially relevant’ and ‘catch-all’ - relate to specific modes of international research collaboration. While collaboration among institutes with diverse types of governance can be beneficial due to complementarities, it can also increase the costs of collaboration as their institutional differences have to be reconciled.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
  • Kuhlmann, Stefan, Supervisor
Award date21 Jun 2013
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs978-90-365-3558-8
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2013


  • METIS-296701
  • IR-86295


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